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Old 02-05-2010, 23:42   #1
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Low Alternator Charge ?

2 x 210AH house batteries.
Few days on the bay - SOC is shown at 80% (which I think is correct) but system voltage is still showing as 12.60v - mainly due I believe to the wind generator being on not long before.
Engine on - the Zantec monitor system shows only 8amps in.
Alternator is a 40amp or 60 amp unit I think.
I would have thought that the Amp would be throwing in 20 or 30 at least ?
Do I need a smart charger on the alternator ?
I've heard about these but can't find any info ??
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Old 02-05-2010, 23:45   #2
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Just replyng here for my own edification when someone who knows responds..

But 80% is 12.6 so that is correct.
The alternator drops the amps when getting the batteries close to full, so 8amps in at 80% would seem correct too.


(corect to me, that is! LOLOL)
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Old 03-05-2010, 00:24   #3
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If your alternator continues to read low after batteries are down, then I would check connections for corrosion. You could also check alternator output with a voltage meter, and if that reads low it might be the regulator at the alternator. This is only if the alternator reads low when the batteries are low.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:39   #4
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[QUOTE=FraidNot;445774]2 x 210AH house batteries.

Engine on - the Zantec monitor system shows only 8amps in.

QUOTE]
What is the voltage with the engine running.It should be around 14.25 volts. If it is lower than this say 13.75 volts you may want to upgrade to a smart charger.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:34   #5
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"upgrade to a smart charger"
Bingo - can someone tell me about this please?
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:04   #6
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Welcome to Balmar

Also if you scroll down to the bottom of this page you will see a number of threads dealing with batteries, alternators and regulators. Happy reading.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:41   #7
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This warrants a read on the subject.

Sterling Power Products: How effective is advanced battery charging on a battery and can it damage the battery?

For information; we needed to put back 26 amps into a 220 amp battery bank yesterday. After two hour of motoring we only managed to put in 21 amps with a standard alternator. For us this isn't a problem the solar panel will sort this out during the week, but an advanced alternator would have reduced the time required and perhaps reached 100%. Its on the list of jobs to do.

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Old 03-05-2010, 22:49   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FraidNot View Post
"upgrade to a smart charger"
Bingo - can someone tell me about this please?
Smart Alternator Regulator, V3
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:38   #9
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One can only guess where or if the Xantrex monitor was installed properly, or if the wind gen was added in afterwards, etc.
Win generators need a "dump regulator" which is very different from the internal regulator in a "car" alternator. If the wind gen is running, and your engine alternator was correctly set up with a voltage sense lead, it will see the voltage from the wind gen and promptly turn itself off--making any use of the engine to charge a near total waste at that point.
So...you really need to trace it all out and see what accomodations were made to having all the bits play together nicely. Could be there's nothing wrong except the kids aren't playing nicely in the sandbox.
Internal regulators in "car" alternators are oddly enough not designed to CHARGE your battery, they are designed to NOT OVERCHARGE a battery during long runs. So they quickly drop back from full output (designed to replace what your starter pulled) to nearly idle output, unless there's something else sucking down voltage. A proper external regulator will outperform them--but you'd want one that also integrates or accomodates the wind generator. Or, not use the wind gen and engine charging at the same time.
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